Thursday, April 11, 5:00 p.m. - Saturday, April 13, 2:30 p.m.,
1111 University Capitol Centre, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

TLC Credit: Traditional, UI REACH

In April, the University of Iowa will host scholars, experts, and researchers from around the world as part of the 2019 Provost’s Global Forum, "Why School? International Perspectives on Education and Social Transformation.” The goal of the Provost's Global Forum is to inspire discussions of global affairs and build relationships between the university and the state of Iowa.

Organizers David Bills, professor of sociology of education, Gavin Fulmer, assistant professor of science education, Gregory Hamot, professor of social studies education, Lia Plakans, associate professor of teaching and learning, and Amanda Thein, professor of language, literacy and culture, will host a three-day academic conference comprised of lectures, presentations, and panel discussions to facilitate conversations on, and increase awareness of, the purpose of schooling in society.

What is the purpose of schooling in society? What are the relationships among educational reform, globalization, and social change across local, national, and international scales? Every society can be characterized by norms, values, and assumptions that serve as core concepts that influence individuals and institutions in ways both obvious and subtle. Schools and educational systems provide a rich and telling view of the core concepts that affect society because they are both products of society and a process for effecting changes in society.


April 11: A live production of WorldCanvass: Why School? from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at MERGE. This televised discussion is hosted by Joan Kjaer and will feature many of the forum’s speakers and scholars

April 12: Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher, senior lecturer, co-director, International Education Development Program, University of Pennsylvania, will deliver the Joel Barkan Memorial Lecture at 7:00 p.m. at the Hyatt Place Hotel.

April 13: Expert-led panel discussions will take place from 8:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the University Capitol Centre. A special film screening of “Preschool in Three Cultures” will take place during lunch. Topics will range from social values and social  models to lifelong learning and future society.

The forum is made possible through the generous support of the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization, with additional sponsorship from the The University of Iowa College of Education, and the University of Iowa Public Policy Center


Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in these events, contact Sarolta Petersen in advance at or 319-335-3862.